Better for You and Budget Friendly Weekly Meal Plan (with coupon match-ups)

Welcome to another great week of better for you and better for your budget recipes.  There are some tasty ones this week.  Also, as my primary grocery store is Publix, I’ve begun to plan and match up with the Publix weekly circulars. If this is NOT your store of choice, many of the coupons will still be applicable as they are manufacturer coupons.  Additionally, grocery stores have a cycle of savings and often many of the same items are on sale across many different stores at the same time. Overall, no matter where you are shopping, I’ve tried to keep these recipes fairly simple and inexpensive.  Happy cooking and don’t hesitate to come back and make comments (good or bad) once you’ve made some of the weekly recipes. I would love the feedback and I’m sure other readers would love pointers and tips.

Day 1: Sausage Stuffed Pasta Shells (adapted from a Jimmy Dean recipe)


1 pkg 18 Jumbo Pasta Shells

1 pkg. Jimmy Dean or other (Reduced Fat) Sausage Roll

1 onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped (Optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced (remember you can buy this in a jar to save time, and smelly fingers)

1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese, divided

1/3 cup (about 1½ ounces) grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 egg

½ teaspoon dried oregano

1 jar (24-26 ounces) Classico spaghetti sauce


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook shells according to package directions.
2.  cook sausage, onion, red pepper and garlic in large skillet over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes or until sausage is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently; drain.
3. Mix ricotta, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, egg, and oregano in large bowl. Stir in sausage mixture.
4. Drain shells; rinse with cool water.
5. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish.
6. fill shells each with about ¼ cup of the sausage mixture and place in baking dish.
7. Cover with remaining sauce, and remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
8. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and Bake 50 minutes or until shells are thoroughly heated and cheese is melted and lightly browned, uncovering after 30 minutes.

Day 2: Asian Style Crab Cake Salad


4 frozen prepared crab cakes (thawed)
1-2 bags of spinach/spring mix salad (or fresh greens)
Ken’s Steak House Dressing – Lite Asian Sesame or something comparable
1 Lemon sliced into wedges


Pan Sauté using thawed crab cakes – defrost in the fridge 8-10 hrs before cooking
(Ready to cook and not thawed, that’s okay. Here’s a quick thaw method. Remove crab cakes from all packaging and place on a microwavable plate. Heat on HIGH for 30 seconds, flip, and heat another 15 seconds. Microwaves vary, adjust time as needed. Do not fully cook in microwave)

1. Heat 1 Tbsp. canola oil per cake in pan for 3 minutes over MEDIUM-HIGH heat.
2. Carefully add crab cakes to pan, cook 3 minutes.
3. Flip cakes, reduce heat to MEDIUM and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
4. Place on paper towels to remove excess oil before serving.
Divide Salad Mix equally across the four plates, place one crab cake on each bed of greens and drizzle with the Asian Sesame dressing.  Slice the lemon and place one wedge on each plate.
Serve with a side of Bird’s Eye Steam Fresh Sugar Snap Peas and Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Rolls (from the frozen section)

Day 3: Easy Pork Tenderloin with Mango Salsa

1 pork loin
(approx 2lbs)
2 teaspoons chili powder
½ cumin
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium mango (sliced and cut into chunks)
2 tablespoons fresh or dried cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Rinse your pork loin and trim any fat to make the surface of the loin smooth for rubbing. 3.  In a small bowl, combine the chili powder and the cumin. Then use your hands to rub the mixture evenly over the pork.
4.  Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Brown the tenderloin in the skillet on all sides, about 5 minutes.
5. Being careful not to lose the juices, transfer the pork loin to a Pyrex pan and slide into the oven. Cook for 12-15 more minutes. Check the loin after that time period by cutting into it. If still pink, cook a few minutes longer.
6.  In a small bowl, lightly mix mango, cilantro, shallot and lemon juice. Serve with slices of pork.
Serve with Bird’s Eye Steam Fresh Corn (make this your 2nd bag of veggies on the Publix deal referenced in the Crab Cake Recipe)

Day 4: Turkey Meatloaf (from a recipe by Ellie Krieger at )

3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup skim milk
1 medium onion, peeled
2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (optional)
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce (you can also use jarred pasta sauce)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

1. In a small bowl, stir together the oats and milk.
2. Thinly slice 1/4 of the onion and set aside. Finely chop the remaining onion.
3. In a large bowl combine the turkey, oat mixture, chopped onion, bell pepper, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Mix just until well combined.
4.  Transfer the mixture to a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and shape into a loaf about 5 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches high.
6. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatloaf and sprinkle with the sliced onions.
7.  Bake for about 1 hour or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Serve with a small side salad (use leftover greens from the crab cake salads) topped with Italian dressing and any leftover veggies from the week (peppers, onions, etc)

Day 5:  Chicken Quesadillas with Avocado and Tomato (adapted from a recipe by sing for your supper)

6 whole wheat tortillas
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 avocado, thinly sliced
1 tomato chopped
1 lime
1  cup Mozzarella cheese (depending on how cheesy you like them)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped or a few teaspoons of dried cilantro

Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then brush with a mixture of olive oil and lime. grill over medium-high heat, until fully cooked (approximately 6 minutes on each side). Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice into thin strips.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place three of the tortillas on a baking sheet and top each with half of the cheese, a few slices of chicken and equal amounts of avocado and tomato. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese and the cilantro. Place the other three tortillas on top. Brush the outer edges with a little water or even extra lime juice to keep them from turning up during baking.  Bake for 6-8 minutes, until cheese is fully melted. Cut into quarters and serve with a side of black beans and any leftover mango you have from the pork loin dinner.

Quick Shopping List:
(Sales and Prices are for Publix stores. Coupons are manufacturer unless otherwise noted)

Phillips Maryland Style Crab Cakes BOGO 8.99
$2/1 Phillips Product (Have to sign up for email)

Jimmy Dean’s Reduced Fat Sausage Roll 2/$7
$.55/1 Jimmy Dean

Publix Fresh Ground Turkey $2.49lb

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts $2.99lb regular or $4.99 for Greenwise

2lb pork loin $4.99lb

Bird’s Eye Steam Fresh Vegetables -1 bag corn, 1 bag sugar snap peas (50% off)
-$1/2 Birds Eye or Birds Eye Steamfresh varieties PUBLIX coupon Spring Family Gatherings Booklet (exp 5/15)
-$0.75/3 Birds Eye Steamfresh Products
-$0.35/1 Birds Eye Steamfresh Lightly Sauced
-$0.50/2 Birds Eye Steamfresh Products 3/20/2011 SS Insert (exp 5/15/2011)
-$0.50/2 Birds Eye Products 3/20/2011 SS Insert (exp 5/15/2011)
-$1/3 Birds Eye Product 3/20/2011 SS Insert (exp 5/15/2011)

Pepperidge Farm Rolls (Whole Grain) BOGO $3.00
-$1/1 Pepperidge Farm Stone Baked Artisan Rolls  SS 4/10/11  (exp 7/31/2011)

Classico Pasta Sauce 8.1 to 24 oz, BOGO $2.75
-$1/1 Classico Pasta Sauce 44oz
– $1/1 Classico Peelie

Ken’s Steak House Dressing (1 Asian Sesame, 1 Italian) BOGO $3.25

Worcestershire sauce
Quick cooking oats
1 can black beans (consider Eden organic. This brand is found in most grocery stores and while a bit more expensive, this is one of the few brands of canned food that is BPA free)

garlic (fresh or minced in the jar, found in the produce section)
cilantro (dried or fresh)
oregano (dried)
chili powder
Fresh Express Salad Blends -baby spinach/spring mix, BOGO $3.99
2 to 3 Mangos, 10 for $10, you’ll get the $1 per/price no matter how many your purchase
1 to 2 Avocados, 3 for $5
1 tomato, $1.99lb
2 onions, Vidalia Onions $.99
2 red pepper
2 lemons
2 limes

1 carton eggs
skim milk (or whatever you usually buy is fine)
-$1.00 of half gallon of Organic Omega 3 milk
1 pkg low fat shredded mozzarella cheese, $3.99 Publix brand (or you may have some stashed from all the great KRAFT deals the last month or so)
$1/2 Kraft with a Touch of Philadelphia
1 15 oz container ricotta cheese
– $1/1 sorrento ricotta cheese SS insert 4/10/11
1 container parmesan cheese (or about 1.5 oz)
1 pkg whole wheat tortillas
1 pkg 18 jumbo pasta shells

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  1. Stephanie says:

    We made stuffed shells, crab cake over salad, chicken quesadillas, and mango pork loin this week. We LOVED them all, but our favorite was the stuffed shells. My husband says that this recipe “goes on his top ten list!” Thank you!

    • Kira Lewis says:

      I’m so glad you like them. Working on this week’s now, it should be up later tonight or first thing in the morning.

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